The angel Gabriel appeared to a young woman named Mary. She was in Nazareth, a town of Galilee. She was going to marry a man named Joseph from the family of David. When the angel came to her, he said: “You are blessed. God is with you!”
She was surprised by his words, and she wondered about the meaning. But the angel said to her, “Do not fear, Mary, for you have found favor with God. You will have a son and will name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High.”
Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, for I am not yet married?” The angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come to you, and the power of the Most High will cover you. Your child will be called holy, the Son of God.” Mary said: “I am God’s servant. May it be so.”
Then the angel left her.
In those days, the Roman Leader Augustus gave an order to make a record of everyone’s name. So all the people went to have their names recorded, each in their own town. Joseph was of the family of David, so he went to record his name with his wife Mary. They went to the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Bethlehem in Judea where David was born. While they were there, Mary gave birth to her first son. She wrapped him in clothes and laid him in a place where cows have their food because there was no place to stay.
In that country there were shepherds living in the fields. They were keeping watch over their sheep by night. And an angel from God stood by them, and a heavenly light shined around them, and they were frightened. But the angel said to them:
“Fear not, for I bring you good news
Good news of great joy for all the people.
A Savior is born today in the town of David
He is God’s Chosen One.
This will be a sign to guide you:
You will find a baby lying where the cows eat.”
Then suddenly many angels appeared, singing praise to God and saying:
“Glory to God on high, And on earth peace, good-will to men.”
When the angels left, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go now to Bethlehem to see what God has done.” So they went quickly and found Mary and Joseph. And they saw the little baby lying where the cows eat their food.
When they saw him, they told others about this child. All who heard the words of the shepherds wondered, but Mary kept these things to herself. She thought often about them. And the shepherds returned. They thanked and praised God for what they saw and heard. It was just as they were told.
Adapted from “The Children’s Bible” by Henry A. Sherman and Charles Foster Kent (1922).
Rights: Public domain in the USA.